Peace And Love In Society
The letters PALS stand for Peace and Love in Society (Formerly Schools). This programme was started in 1994, as a response to the escalating levels of violence seen in Jamaican schools. Help in developing PALS came from the Peace Education Foundation of the USA and in fact they continue to offer assistance with the ongoing programme and occupy a seat on the PALS Board.
PALS is sponsored by a not-for-profit foundation which comprises a wide cross section of interests. These include the national media houses, the churches, the teachers, the business sector, and the Government of Jamaica. PALS has been funded in the past by companies in the private sector, the Jamaican Government, international agencies such as UNESCO, PAHO, the Canada Fund and the governments of Japan and The Netherlands.
The challenge that PALS faces is to teach young children between the ages of 6 and 12 years the skills that will enable them to resolve conflict constructively. This programme teaches primary school children in more than 790 schools throughout Jamaica to choose alternatives to self destructive, violent behavior when confronted with conflict. It is believed that success at the primary level will translate to a more peaceful community for future Jamaicans.